Even since it became clear that Hollywood intended to make a book out of Orson Scott Card’s classic novel Ender’s Game, there have been rumbles of discontent from those who knew Card holds anti-gay views. Some have suggested a boycott of the movie, while others are trying to organise an offset, donating to pro-gay causes to balance out any cash that might go to the author.
Now Geeks OUT has started what they hope will become a boycott of the film, urging people to ‘Skip Ender’s Game‘ and ‘keep your money out of Orson Scott Card’s pockets’. As well as hoping people won’t go to see the movie, they also hope their efforts will raise awareness of what Card stands ford. They ask that when the movie is released in November, people organise or attend a ‘Skip Ender’s Game’ event. Geeks OUT is already planning gatherings in Chicago, Dallas, New York, Orlando, Seattle, and Toronto.
“By pledging to Skip Ender’s Game, we can send a clear and serious message to Card and those that do business with his brand of anti-gay activism — whatever he’s selling, we’re not buying,” Geeks OUT officials write. “The queer geek community will not subsidize his fear-mongering and religious bullying. We will not pay him to demean, insult, and oppress us.”
So is Orson Scott Card really that bad? Well, yes, as he doesn’t just privately hold mildly anti-gay views, he’s actively working to withhold rights from gay people. For example, the author has previously said he believes gay sex should be banned (although he’s more recently suggested he no longer wants to see it criminalised), that same sex marriage is wrong, and has linked child abuse and homosexuality. He also sits on board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage, one of the leading anti-equal marriage lobbies, and one that’s been particularly unpleasant in its rhetoric. He also reportedly wrote in a 2009 Mormon Times opinion piece that, “Marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.”
Just last year he wrote, “Normalizing a dysfunction [which is how he was referring to being gay] will only make ours into a society that corrodes any loyalty to it, as parents see that our laws and institutions now work against the reproductive success (not to mention happiness) of the next generation.”
Others have argued that the movie, which stars Harrison Ford (who’s very pro-gay) and Asa Butterfield, should be viewed as completely separate to Card’s views. However there’s no doubt that the more successful the film is, the more money he makes, some of which he may channel to fighting against gay rights. Expect there to be plenty more debate in the coming months.
(Here at BGPS, we haven’t completely ignored the film, although we have deliberately limited our coverage, and we’ve also made mention of Card’s opinions whenever we’ve talked about the film – we’d love to hear if you think we should join the boycott and stop talking about Ender’s Game).